Fans witnessed an upset last night in Spain, as local man Kerman Lejarraga hammered the previously unstopped Bradley Skeete inside just two-rounds to take the vacant European welterweight title. Lejarraga, 24-0(19) going in was not expected to do what he did to Skeete, the former British and Commonwealth champion who now sports a 27-2(12) record and is in need of a major re-build.
Lejarraga, very much a largely unknown quantity, came out the aggressor in the opening round, forcing Skeete on the back-foot. Then, in the second, the puncher displayed his considerable handiwork. A sharp right hand to the head shocked Skeete and sent him down. Up and trying to fight through the crisis, the British fighter was then taken down again, this time by a hard left to the body that sucked all the wind out of him.
Skeete bravely beat the count again, only to be cracked by a left hand to the head to send him down for a third time. This time his corner threw in the towel, knowing how Skeete had nothing left. Lejarraga scored the biggest win of his career and he is now a force to be reckoned with.
The 26 year old from Bilbao has been a pro since May of 2013 and he has beaten some decent and recognisable names – including Laszlo Toth (a points win) and Denton Vassell (a stoppage win inside four-rounds) – but he has, apart from one fight that took place in New York, never boxed outside of his homeland. After doing what he did last night, to a man who had lost just once previously, Lejarraga could be in high demand.
30 year old Skeete, who was close to landing a world title shot against Jeff Horn recently, and was looking at facing Amir Khan next had he won the European belt last night, faces a long and hard road back. Would a rematch with the Spaniard prove to be any different? Will Skeete and his team want to take the risk of finding out?
Now 25-0(20) Lejarraga has a most impressive record and we now know his power is for real.